As the Covid-19 has hit Punjab’s higher-ups, especially the state’s administrative circle, another IAS officer has been afflicted by the deadly contagion on Friday — a day after his wife and Ropar Deputy Commissioner Sonali Giri tested positive becoming the first IAS catching the virus.
The state’s Rural Development Director and member of the state COVID Control Room Vipul Ujjwal has been tested positive, following which Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa also undergo COVID-19 test as both had attended a departmental meeting at Mohali a day before. Besides, other officers who attended the meeting have also been quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
Ujjwal was the primary contact of his IAS officer wife, who is believed to have contracted the virus from her SDM (Ropar), who was tested positive on Wednesday.
Besides the IAS couple, 13 PCS officers, one PPS officer and Jalandhar Rural SSP Navjot Singh Mahal, Sangrur Civil Surgeon Dr Raj Kumar, Bathinda's District and Session Judge Kamaljit Lamba, and a Judicial Magistrate at Jalandhar have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
In the wake of many officers testing positive who had regularly been visiting the secretariat and who were involved in public dealing work, the State Government has banned the entry of general public at Punjab Civil Secretariat and Mini Secretariat at Chandigarh.
Besides, the health authorities have sealed the Ropar District Administrative Complex, and also the Director Panchayat Office at Chandigarh.
It has been learnt that five family members, including two kids, of IAS couple have been tested COVID-19 positive. As per available information, both IAS officers were asymptomatic and are stable in health.
The health authorities have taken samples of around 110 persons, including the senior officials working in Ropar district complex for testing. Besides, further contact tracing of the Ropar DC and SDM was being done.
ENTRY OF PUBLIC RESTRICTED IN PUNJABCIVIL SECRETARIAT-I, II
After several IAS and PCS officers, besides Civil Secretariat employees, tested positive for COVID-19 in the past few days, Punjab Government on Friday stopped the public dealing in its Civil Secretariat and Mini Secretariat in Chandigarh. As per the orders issued by the General Administration Department, no visitor will be allowed inside the Secretariats and ‘Dak’ (daily posts) will have to be handed outside. “Punjab Government has banned the entry of all visitors (general public) in Punjab Civil Secretariat-I and II. The Principal Secretary (General Administration) has signed the order in this regard and these orders have come into force with immediate effect,” said the spokesperson.
NO QUARANTINE FOR STUDENTS COMING TO PUNJAB FOR EXAMS
Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Friday clarified that students, who wanted to come to Punjab for SSB or any other exams, are not required to go into quarantine. “They can simply e-register, and if asymptomatic, they can leave immediately after the exam,” said Mahajan.
217 FRESH CASES IN PUNJAB
Witnessing an alarming and steady increase in the coronavirus cases, Punjab on Friday reported 217 fresh infections besides four casualties — pushing the state’s COVID-19 tally to 7,357 and death toll to 187 deaths. Accounting for the highest number of cases on Friday with 61 fresh cases, Jalandhar also reported one new death, along with SAS Nagar, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib. Friday’s cases were reported from 20 of the state’s 22 districts, with highest from Jalandhar followed by 41 in Ludhiana, 22 each in Patiala and SAS Nagar, Amritsar (16), Sangrur (13), Gurdaspur (8), Bathinda (5), SBS Nagar (5). Tarn Taran (3), Ferozepur (4), Pathankot (4), Ropar (3), Hoshiarpur (3) Fategarh Sahib (2), Moga (1), Muktsar (1), Barnala (1), Fazilka (1), and Faridkot (1).
Among the districts, Ludhiana has the highest 1287 cases, followed by Jalandhar (1110), Amritsar (1021), Sangrur (622), Patiala (508), SAS Nagar (356), Gurdaspur (286), Pathankot (244), Tarn Taran (216), Hoshiarpur (193), SBS Nagar (184), Faridkot (149), Muktsar (144).
Fatehgarh Sahib (142), Moga (138), Bathinda (128), Kapurthala (126), Ropar (124), Fazilka (103), Ferozepur (147), Barnala (72), and Mansa (57). As many as 72 coronavirus patients were discharged on Friday after they recovered from the infection.
A total of 5,017 people have been cured of the infection so far, with 2,153 active cases, of which 59 patients are on oxygen support and nine are critical and on ventilator support.